Have you ever felt the need to change the way you look to please those around you?
Do you feel your self-worth is based on people's judgments of you?
Does this feeling get to the point where you're willing to spend loads of money on clothes and make-up to impress people you won't even see five years from now?
The media has created monsters that eat at teenage girls and their self-esteems. They show that the "perfect" woman has an hourglass figure, long legs, perfect hair and a face caked with make-up.
When in reality, these types of women don't even exist. It is an illusion created with plastic surgery, photo editing, and hair extensions.
Teenage girls constantly compare themselves to models and think about ways to become just like them. Eventually, these pre-occupations can turn into obsessions, and the monster the media has created wins.
Young women become so self-conscious that this obsession can take over their lives. They strive to lose weight in the most baffling ways, and will do almost anything to impress people who won't even matter after high school.
Adolescent girls look at themselves in the mirror and are displeased by what they see. They take blades to their wrists, and tear themselves inside-out in never-ending attempts to become "perfect."
This obsession to become "perfect" gets so bad that some girls not only end up losing their dignity, but in some cases, their lives.
Sit down, breathe for a while, and think, "Is it really worth losing your life just to please society?"
Being attractive will get you attention, but if you aren't a good person, what makes you think you'll receive positive feedback from people?
Being a kind-hearted person will make you more admirable than you could ever be by looking "perfect."
You don't need the acceptance of society to be happy; you just need to accept yourself. The way you carry yourself and treat others is way more important than the way you look or dress.
In the long run, would you rather be known as someone who was kind, or someone who spent their entire high school career miserably trying to impress society?
Hayley Montes is the fourth winner of Danielle Aldcorn's youth contest. Each winner has had their column published in The Richmond News.